Kidney stones and gallstones are only two of the most common health problems forcing patients into the emergency room, and sometimes into the operating table as well. They have something else in common: Kidney stones and gallstones feature abnormal sedimentation, accumulation, and solidification of material that usually runs through the kidneys and the gallbladder respectively. However, their symptoms are radically different from each other, and the clinical management is not the same either.
While you can break down and remove kidney stones in various ways, the same is not true about gallstones. They require surgery, and it will be more difficult and risky if you delay your diagnosis and treatment. Therefore, we will give you the most important signs and symptoms of gallstones, so you can suspect having them as soon as possible and ask your physician for further instruction to rule them out.
1) Severe abdominal pain
The first symptoms of gallstones are not always severe and does not always lead patients into the emergency room, but sometimes that’s the case. This happens because the stones in the gallbladder start moving along with the bile and get stuck in various parts of the bile duct. Therefore, the bile duct tries to push forward the bile and start performing jerking movements while sending pain signals to the brain.
A stuck gallstone might be painful enough to lead patients into the emergency room, and sometimes they would require emergency surgery to fix the problem. This pain is often located at the upper right portion of the abdomen, in the middle of the right costal arc (the lower border of the ribcage). But sometimes the gallbladder has not the usual location and would give out pain in the center of the abdomen or any other abdominal area.
Having a gallstone stuck in the bile duct is a serious health problem and should be attended readily by a health professional. The associated pain is sometimes unbearable, but not every time. Some patients would have a slowly aggravating pain that only becomes intolerable when the disease has aggravated into a life-threatening condition. Therefore, it is essential to pay attention to any uncommon abdominal pain, especially when it starts right after a fatty meal.